Barbecue sauce is one of those things – like ketchup and mustard – that most people would hardly consider making from scratch. But considering the increased interest in home preserving – jams and jellies and chutneys – in recent years, why not simmer up a pot of barbecue sauce? It requires little effort, and need not be a massive batch. Barbecue sauce makes great use of fresh or frozen blueberries – as they simmer they pop, turning the sauce a rich, purply indigo color and imparting a unique, not-too-fruity flavour that’s perfect with beef, pork and chicken. Try some brushed on burgers or ribs, glugged into meatloaf, or used straight-up as a sauce for precooked meatballs at your next cocktail party.
Homemade blueberry barbecue sauce also makes a great party gift, if you’re looking to bring something other than a bottle of wine. Go to the thrift store and pick up vintage glass bottles or jars to wash and fill.
Blueberry Barbecue Sauce
canola oil, for cooking
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
2 pints blueberries
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine, raspberry or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
Combine all the ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until the onions are soft and the berries burst. Puree in a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot to blend until smoothish – it should have the consistency of barbecue sauce. If not, cook for a few more minutes, until it thickens. Store in the fridge or freeze. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.